If I could see your aura, I bet it would unfurl around your body in the most magnificent shades of blue. All the hues, like ocean waves shifting from the brightest, calming aqua to angry, mysterious navy. Your aura would mimic the calls of your soul, the emotions you've worn on your face for as long as I've known you. Lord help me, but I think I'll always love you for that very fact. The way your entire face gives away your confusion and your serenity. How joy lights your skin from the inside. How your teeth capture your lower lip as your eyes bore through me, your energy shifting as your desire rises.
I don't think I've ever met a man as easily to read as you are, nor one as tortured by his emotions. Shifting like the tides of the sea, spouting love and calm before brewing doubt and hurt in the moments after. I know how often I have done that to you.
Me? I think I'd be a swirling mist of all the pinks and purples. Rosy with affection, lavender with contemplation and compassion. Deep, soulfully sensual plum trailing everywhere after me, telling all of my penchant to fall for nearly every person I meet. Seething to magenta, giving away the depth of my love for you - a love that just won't quit.
Perhaps it's best we see one another as tangible flesh, substance and story. At least this way we can pretend that what we've felt for so long is real...without acknowledging the reality that blue and purple might complement one another, but they shine brightest when they leave one another alone...
Can we talk about soulmates for a minute?
There is a man that I knew, but hadn't seen in years. Known by name and not much more. We exchanged idle conversation - "how are you's" and simple get know you questions, always divided by a countertop, by age and circumstance. My eyes would trace his movements as he walked away, my body feeling the path of his gaze if I walked past him. We used to see one another almost daily, eyes sparkling with unasked questions as we talked; smiles soft and sweet, promising whispers from another life.
I saw him this morning, with my kids in tow, his own left at home with his wife. His eyes caught mine as they always did in the past, their ice blue hue familiar as though I had seen them mere hours instead of years before. My palms got clammy and my heart fluttered like the fresh wings of a butterfly. A little unsteady, a little unsure.
I had all but forgotten about him, but today that feeling rushed back...a fire igniting deep and low in my belly. Something in me recognizes something in him. I think it always has...I just didn't understand meaning of the feeling.
At some point in our histories, we meant something to one another.
The tingle in my heart whispers to me, telling me that it was more than just something. At one point, we were each other's everything. Our destinies in this lifetime are not to be together...but a piece of my heart hopes that in a future life, we might belong to one another once more.
felt out of place here, but completely at home at the same time. The music was loud, but the melodies were familiar. The decor was clean, bright, but with dark rustic touches that balanced the space perfectly. There were photographs of various pieces of work placed in clusters on the walls, and various articles scattered amongst them as well. Their vintage frames were all different, but the black paint on each one drew them all together as a collective unit. Each chair on be shop floor was filled with a body, and each body was different - some covered in ink and stories, some virgin and being tattooed for the first time.
I was there for moral support as my best friend Jade lay face down in her chair. She was diving in head first, popping her tattoo cherry as her back piece was started by the shop owner. Forrest didn't say much, but his work spoke for him, loud and clear. As did his face. He had that badass, "I'll set your whole fucking world on fire" vibe going on, and I knew he was right. I knew with certainty that he would, given the opportunity.
The barely clad blonde at the front counter was having a shouting match with a customer, and I could see the tension rising in his body as he worked. After a minute or so, he rose up to his full height, muttering a quiet "excuse me, ladies", before striding purposefully toward them. With a few quiet words, he diffused the situation, sending the patron on their way before lacing the blonde (Melody, I think?) with a venomous stare and taking her to the back room.
After a few minutes of muffled yelling, she stormed down the hallway, flipping him off as she cursed her way out the door. He shook his head, rubbing his temples with ink stained fingers before taking a seat beside Jade once more. "I'm sorry about that ladies. But that was the last fucking straw with that dumbass." I snorted, covering my laugh with a hand as he flicked that hard gaze in my direction.
"Shop manager isn't an easy job, but it's not fucking rocket science either. Christ. And now I have to train someone else. Again" he muttered, shaking his head once more. My heart skipped a beat at his words. I had been looking for more work for weeks, craving a change of pace, an outlet for my art. Looking around, I spoke without thinking. "I'd be psyched to get an interview. I could do that job."
He gave me a measured look, taking in my cropped leggings and long sleeved tunic. Appraising my simple side braid, piercingless face and the apparent lack of colour on my skin. "You?" He scoffed.
Throwing back the same tempered glare, I barely held in my offense at his response. "Yes, me. I'm good with numbers, great with people, a quick learner and I'm flexible." In more ways than one, but he didn't need to know that, yet.
Staring at Jade's back, then dipping the needle of his gun into a new colour of ink, he spoke without looking at me. "You good with computers?"
"How's your photography skills?"
My tongue jumped at his grammar, but I swallowed the correction and said, "I'm no pro, but I'm not exactly a slouch either."
Jade snorted, "shut up you tit, your photography is the shit, and you know it." I couldn't help but smile - Jade in a nutshell. The perfect mix of rhyming prose, sassy words and a heartfelt compliment.
He looked at me again, long and slow. "The hours are consistent, but different from day to day. Some of the nights are long and late. And you'd have to work weekends". I nodded, a nervous thrill twining its way through my insides as my eyes locked on to his. I was a notorious homebody anyways, so that wouldn't be a big deal. "Not a problem."
He nodded slowly, as though skeptically satisfied. "Consider yourself interviewed. If you can start tomorrow, at 3.30, you got the job".
My jaw dropped, dumbfounded. Life was never this fucking easy! I nodded, catching Jade's wicked smile as she peeked carefully over her shoulder. "Well alright them. I guess you'll see me at 3.30."
Looking into those insanely blue eyes, I couldn't help but wonder; what the fuck had I just gotten myself into?
Her hand rests softly on the pillow between us, palm up and fingers curled gently in on themselves. I can see her eyes fluttering behind her lids, hear her breath quickening as she slumbers. A deep inhale; a laboured, slow exhale.
Her fingers clench and retreat, legs scissoring across one another as she moves, twists, seeking something she can see but cannot feel.
It's always like this...a voyeuristic kind of intimacy, watching her when she isn't aware, even though we're in the same bed together. We've been here countless times before, sharing stories and giggles under the covers after too many glasses of wine. Friends for so long we've all but lost track of the years. Sometimes it feels like we've forgotten where one of us ends and the other begins.
Her eyes flutter open and she reaches for my hand. Tucking it into her chest, she smiles sleepily. "Sleep, doll" she murmurs, before her eyes close once more. I lay there a while, watching the rise and fall of her small body, our hands growing warm in their innocent embrace. Connected by our palms and our stories, my heart rate slows, breath deepens, and I fall into sleep beside her, hoping we might meet again on the other side, in her dreams.
There are moments where she still feels the flutter in her chest as she pullled his key out to let herself into his apartment. Where she can still smell his skin. Like soap and faintly of fresh sweat, but never cologne. The kind of scent one can't detect unless two bodies collide until they occupy one single space.
He was hard lines and rough around the edges. Curse words and and new experiences. She was softer, pliable in his hands. Forever curious and always an eager student. It's like they said good-by this morning instead of all those years ago.
She can still feel the heat of his palms skating down her sides to find rest on her waist. The radiant fire that bit into her skin, even through layers of clothing. The effortless lift of her whole body up off the floor and onto his counter-top. The grip of his hands on her hip-bones both a warning and a promise in the same breath.
She can still feel the scratch of his chin across her cheek. On the tender skin below her ear but above her collar bone, in that small place that can only belong to a woman. Can feel his hand slide up her spine to tangle in her hair, can hear his breath change in each ragged inhale.
And still, she can hear him, the same sentiment, every time. His words on an exhale, her heart pounding in her throat as she waited, every time, to hear them. "Fuck. I missed you."
I can feel an ant crawling its way across my foot, another up my ankle. I look down, but they've changed directed, scuttling towards the ground, away from my sticky, sun-drenched skin.
I should be doing anything but this. Cleaning. Folding. Working. Sweating. Prepping. And yet...here I am. Heat like this generally doesn't arrive for a few more months, so today, for now...this is my perch. My plan.
Words surge in my headphones, words are read by my eyes, words are spilling from my fingertips on to my journal pages. I can hardly read my own thoughts by the end. Eyes blinded by sunlight, vision blurred by unshed tears. Words strung together and stretched across the page in messy cursive. Letters spill into the spaces their neighbours should occupy, chasing each other across the pages, much like the ants following one another down my leg and through the sprouting grass.
Sun-soaked and spent, I rise. Gather my thoughts and gather my things...another day. Another idea.
don't you remember?
those sweet words and heady promises.
those whispered moments
uninhibited in the dark...
Between my teeth,
under my lips.
by my fingers.
don't you remember?
the feel of my back,
pressed against your front...
the feel of my hair
beneath your calloused
you mouth is the [very] same
that I remember
your kisses aren't the same.
your tongue is sharper.
and your words
may look different
marked by years
streaked with growtH.
may be full
most days.most hours.most moments.
may be rimmed with red
from unshed tears
and sleepless nights.
might shoot daggers
in your direction
in the dark.
still craves yours.
still seek you
in the darkness.
still see you.
My breath is heavy and laboured. I can feel sweat rolling in rivulets across my skin - down my arms, along the bridge of my nose, sliding between my breasts. I force myself to inhale deeply through my nose, holding the air in my lungs before exhaling slowly, so slowly. Trying desperately to find my rhythm in the dark, humid room.
I feel him moving behind me. His hands are firm but gentle when they make contact. They force my knees wider, allowing my core to fall closer to the floor. The warm heat of his palms presses into the centre of my back, flattening it, stretching me further. My arms are extended out in front of me, my own palms flat on the sweat covered mat. Child's pose.
He shifts, centering his weight over my low back, pushing into me slowly, deepening the stretch. The firm pressure of his hands rolls across my shoulders, down my arms.
It's a beautiful kind of intimacy - being touched while basically blind. Hands help where you don't expect to feel them, but you realize instantly that it's contact you desperately needed.
Our breath is synchronous, inhaling one another's presence, exhaling the tension. Sinking deeper into one another, then repeating. Two bodies with one purpose, for such a short period of time. For, as quickly as he arrives, he is gone - my practice is my own again, but still, I can't quite catch my breath.
It's late now, probably hours past midnight at this point. The logs on the fire have long past burned, dwindled down to neon embers in the bottom of the stone-rimmed fire pit. The nip in the air is a gentle reminder that September has arrived, and i pull on my hoodie, snuggling inside for warmth.
The celebratory noises have quietened down now. Half-drunk solo cups sit abandoned on tree stumps, forgotten by fully-drunk people. Even the animals have bunkered down for the night, and the silence is refreshing. I sit for a while - I'm not sure for how long, before downing the dredges of my last drink, wincing at the sweetness of the now warm liquor. After poking the fiery remnants with a branch, I decide it's dead enough to leave behind for a while, and so I set off alone, down to the water's edge.
The tents popped up for the weekend are mostly silent. Soft snores float from that one there on the left. And the one on the right? Well..that one diffuses noises that make me blush as i shuffle past, smiling with drunken envy. At least someone found company this weekend.
I hear the waves lapping even before I can see them, breaking against the shoreline and illuminated by that stunning harvest moon. As I draw closer to the sandy beach, I can pick out the riff of a guitar floating on the wind from somewhere in the distance. The allure of a night alone is enticing...but so is the music. My curiosity gets the better of me, and I veer off to the right, away from our makeshift campsite and towards the sound of a guitar. I walk maybe 30 feet before my eyes catch his outline seated on a log facing the lake. Even from behind, I can tell who it is and my breath catches in my throat at the recognition. If the breadth of his back isn't enough to give him away, the lopsided knot on top of his head is.
I stand back for a while, listening in silent awe to the unexpected sound of his voice. It's like liquid sex and gravel and it hits me right in the gut, twisting it into a knot of lonely desire. As the last chord floats off in the breeze, he speaks. "Hey pretty girl. You just going to hide in the shadows all night, or are you coming to see me?" I'm grateful that the darkness will hide my blush, and wonder what it was that gave me away. "Hey Dallas" I say with a smile, making my way over to him.
"Hey yourself." He sets the guitar down against the log, motioning beside him, and asking without words for me to sit. I oblige happily, blaming the alcohol for the boldness that prompts me to sit in his lap, instead of at his side. "I'm cold," I say quietly. "Warm me up?"
I feel, more than see the smile that breaks across his face, as his generous arms wrap around me, tugging me closer and enveloping me in his warmth. We sit that way for a while, watching the ocean in silence, breathing in synch. He starts humming quietly, and I pick up on the tune easily - that Mumford song is one of my favourites. It's not long before he starts singing again, and i find myself joining him, our voices mingling as one sound before being carried off on the breeze. As we sing, he slides us down to the ground, so we can settle into one another and onto a plaid blanket I never noticed until now.
I hadn't expected to meet him this weekend, hadn't expected to find him here in the middle of the night. Our legs tangled and our words muddled, cheeks flushed with the lakeside breeze and the indulgence of too much alcohol. We stay that way for ages, talking after the singing ends, singing after the talking pauses. My head on his chest and his hands playing mindlessly with my hair. So when the words spilling from our lips slow to a trickle and then stop completely, the only natural thing to do is turn my face up to his as he leans his down to mine, so our lips can find one another in the middle. It feels like I've known him for five hundred years, and something in my soul recognizes him as well, whispering to me that maybe I have. Because singing with him feels more natural than with anyone else, and laughing with him feels like breathing - easy and essential. And kissing him? Well that part...it feels like finding the other half of myself that has been missing for my entire life.
I leave the raucous Saturday night party early. Friday was fun, and she was there, but tonight it all just feels exhausting. I can see her on the other side of the fire pit, eyes shining with laughter as the firelight dances on her features and in her eyes. Her golden skin glows with the amber light of the flames, her hair tossed up in a perfectly messy knot on top of her head. She's the only one of these girls that didn't take off to the bathroom five minutes after waking to slather her face with makeup and "fix" her hair with a flat iron. And she's ten times more beautiful than all the others because of it. She always has been.
The party is winding down, but I'm desperate for a break from it all. I head down to the lake, taking my guitar and and a backpack with me. No one notices me leaving - but then, that's how I prefer it, anyways.
Stepping off the path and onto the sand of the beach, it's like I can suddenly exhale a deep breath I wasn't aware I'd been holding. The air is crisper, cleaner, and with five long inhales, my head feels clearer as well. Over five hundred years on this earth - and i still don't much care for alcohol. Seven lifetimes of loving her and losing her, and my eighth chance to love her all over again.
We age together in every lifetime - our bodies growing older together, until she leaves me behind for the next one. And once she is gone, my body changes into someone new, someone younger, prepping for another lifetime of searching, and finally finding her. She always looks the same - her cheeks high and rosy, eyes sparkling with intellect and sass. Her hair changes with the times, her clothing too, but her name, her soul, her essence - that is what draws us back together each and every time. As Emily Bronte said, "whatever souls are made of, his and mine are the same," and truer words could not describe our relationship. We are two pieces of the same soul, bound forever in a cycle of starting over.
Wandering down the beach front, I find a large, fallen tree and claim it as my new perch. I spread the blanket down in front of me, then take a seat. The last span was our longest - eighty-one years together, seventy-five years married. Four years after she passed until she was reborn, and finally, twenty-five years since I last lost her to find her again.
I settle in on the log, strumming, humming, waiting. I can tell when she's close - it started the fourth time we found one another, an innate sense of simply knowing. For me, it's always present: the closer I get, the more I can feel her. For Rosie, it happens with time together. I choose a song I heard her claim to love the previous night, letting the chords float through the air to her ears, drawing her closer. When the song ends, I call out to her, even before turning around. "Hey pretty girl. You just going to hide in the shadows all night, or are you coming to see me?"
"Hey Dallas," she answers, and I can hear the blush in her voice, though I can't see it on her face. She's definitely tipsy, but nothing is keeping me away from her tonight. I love this part. The cat and mouse. The getting to know one another before she starts to remember. It's been fifteen days since I found her. We were only officially introduced yesterday, so I'm surprised when she settles herself right in my lap, instead of beside me. "I'm cold," she murmurs quietly. "Warm me up?"
And without question or hesitation, i do what every cell in my body has been screaming to do for years, enveloping her snugly in my arms. Inhaling the sweet scent of her shampoo, and absorbing her weight into mine. She's thinner than last time, but heavier and more muscular too. I like it.
The alcohol gives her the guts to sing along with me as I play, and we alternate music and conversation for a long while. At some point we slide down onto the blanket, melting into one another like an old habit - because, of course, it is one. And when we finally run out of songs to sing and words to say, I know it's time once more for what has become my very favourite part - the first kiss. I can sense her comfort, feel her desire, and we lean into one another at the same time, each seeking the same thing, but for different reasons. Lord, how I have missed her presence, missed her laughter, missed her lips. And as our first kiss of this lifetime unfolds, the deepest part of our soul, separated by two bodies and a quarter of a century, is reconnected. She is my home, and I am hers - and we are lost no longer.
My hands are aching and my lungs are on fire. There is sunlight flickering between the fat, falling flakes, but I can't really see it. My eyes are blurry, my breath hitching as my body is wracked with sobs. The kind that leave you gasping, hiccuping, reaching for a hand to hold or a shoulder to snuggle, except that this time, he isn't there.
He's never going to be there. Except that maybe now he is everywhere. And perhaps always when we need him.
It might be cathartic if the pain wasn't so very tangible. A gaping hole in my soul, and a rip through my heart that will never truly heal. My pace slows, and my tears fall faster
Sun. Snow. Shovel. Sadness.
Maybe next time will be easier. Maybe next time won't feel like a goodbye, but more like a remembrance. To the moon and back, and all of that. I miss you, Daddy.